Bleed them dry!

It feels like many OSR campaigns, especially in games where treasure equates XP, there is often a growing problem with the characters amassing a huge amount of wealth. We’ve run into this issue in my games a couple of times as well, and I’ve thought about it. I don’t think this is necessarily always a problem, although it can be, and I don’t think there is a universal solution, but I’ve put some new rules and tools in place to deal with it.

  • I’ve created a banking system in my world, which lets the characters stash wealth but which also charges 10% on both deposits and withdrawals. This means that those players who don’t want to invest their money in real-estate and really just don’t want the bother have an option, but it’s costly.
  • I use the simply awesome Carousing rules from Roles, Rules and Rolls. Usually, I fidget with things when I import them into my campaign, but these were just added straight off.
  • I’ve made one-use magic items available for the right price; they are, after all, entirely craftable by Magic-Users in LotFP and thus it stands to reason that they should be available on the market, but at rather inflated prices. This seems to be a very effective method. Most adventurers would rather have a couple of healing potions than a couple of thousand coins in the bank.
  • I don’t shy away from ridding the characters of their wealth through random events; bandit attacks, thieves in the night, what have you. It has to be about something other than GM Fiat, though; I don’t simply want to take away what they’ve rightfully gained because I want to.
  • I enforce costs of living strictly, and I try to emphasize what these mean. If you live in a common room and eat slop, you’re really slumming it and doing this with a pocket full of gold is both not very appropriate for many characters and possibly downright dangerous.


When it comes to costs of living, I’ve prepared a chart which draws the basic prices from the LotFP rulebook but aggregates this per week and also establishes some basic risks and rewards for choosing different lifestyles. It is still a work in progress, but you can download it here or in the Library.

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